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For this year’s UK Top 50, Legal Week has spoken to law firm leaders across the market for their take on the key trends from 2016-17, as well as their plans for the year ahead. In this Q&A, Herbert Smith Freehills senior partner James Palmer discusses the impact of Brexit on the M&A market and the march of the US firms in London

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Law Firms Mentioned

<a href="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

/uploads/sites/378/2017/09/James-Palmer-photo-Article-201709280827.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-67204" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

/uploads/sites/378/2017/09/James-Palmer-photo-Article-201709280827.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="372" /></a> <em>For this year���s��<a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/08/31/uk-top-50-push-total-revenues-past-20bn-as-currency-gains-mask-market-uncertainty/">UK Top 50</a>, Legal Week has spoken to law firm leaders across the market for their take on the key trends from 2016-17, as well as their plans for the year ahead. In this Q&amp;A, Herbert Smith Freehills senior partner James Palmer discusses the impact of Brexit on the M&amp;A market and the march of the US firms in London</em> <strong>How was 2016-17 for Herbert Smith Freehills?</strong> ���Our disputes and investigations practices have seen a very strong year. Before the Brexit vote our corporate practice was very strong. The vote killed a number of deals ��� it created some, but far more fell over as a result of it. M&amp;A markets are down globally and there are fewer super deals masking the lower level of activity. All we can do is go with the market and try to out perform how we did before.��� <strong>What impact is Brexit having on the M&amp;A market? </strong> ���I think the biggest short-term impact of Brexit is the fall in sterling. It means the UK���s buying power is reduced, but most of our clients listed in London are not UK businesses. This has meant those clients have seen share price rises. In addition, it has created an ability for overseas businesses to look at M&amp;A and infrastructure investment into the UK. Even with the economic uncertainty surrounding the fall in sterling it is creating interest.��� <strong>Do you think we'll see large numbers of UK businesses move operations elsewhere as a result of the UK's decision to leave Europe? </strong> ���I think we will see some UK-based businesses shift outside of the EU or UK because of Brexit, but I think the extent of that will only become clear in the next five to 10 years.��� <strong>What are the main changes you're seeing in the UK legal market right now? </strong> ���It���s trite to say that legal markets are changing, as everyone knows that and firms have to adapt to that. There are advantages in having greater scale in terms of cost and your service offering if you have the skills to make it work. "That���s not a skill that is the exclusive prerogative for big firms ��� those with mid-market offerings have done a good job with scale. I think you will see more people looking at scale and deeper offerings, as well as further US expansion in London and some boutique growth.��� <strong>For more, see:</strong> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/19/uk-top-50-2016-17-ao-managing-partner-andrew-ballheimer-on-why-clients-are-crying-out-for-truly-global-firms/">A&amp;O managing partner Andrew Ballheimer on why clients are ���crying out��� for truly global firms</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/18/uk-top-50-2016-17-linklaters-managing-partner-gideon-moore-on-mergers-clients-trump-and-brexit/">Linklaters managing partner Gideon Moore on mergers, clients, Trump and Brexit</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/20/we-were-unlucky-but-we-learned-a-lot-dla-pipers-levine-on-that-cyber-attack-brexit-and-office-closures/">���We were unlucky, but we learned a lot��� ��� DLA Piper���s Levine on that cyber attack, Brexit and office closures</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/21/uk-top-50-2016-17-eversheds-sutherlands-lee-ranson-on-long-sought-mergers-and-tech-priorities/">Eversheds Sutherland���s Lee Ranson on long-sought mergers and tech priorities</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/22/uk-top-50-2016-17-clydes-ceo-peter-hasson-on-international-expansion-partner-cuts-and-mergers/">Clydes CEO Peter Hasson on global expansion, partner cuts and mergers</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/08/31/uk-top-50-push-total-revenues-past-20bn-as-currency-gains-mask-market-uncertainty/">UK top 50 push total revenues past ��20bn as currency gains mask market uncertainty</a></strong></li> </ul> <

  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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